Angelique Paulk, Ph.D.
Instructor in Investigation
Neurology, Research Institute
Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Instructor in Neurology
Harvard Medical School
|PhD University of Arizona 2008|
|Masters of Science Cornell University 2003|
I have worked for more than 15 years in neurophysiology linking behavior with neural activity across numerous systems, beginning with sensory and visual processing at the level of single cells in my graduate work moving on to neural signatures of attention in flies and bees, and, more recently, studying neural activity associated with emotion conflict resolution in humans and the mechanisms of how electrical stimulation alters human brain activity, all moving toward real-time closed loop approaches. I also build and maintain the neural recording systems in the Cortical Physiology Laboratoryof Dr. Sydney Cash in implanted participants with intractable epilepsy as well as working closely with neurosurgeons in the operating room to record neural activity acutely using novel neural electrodes, such as the PEDOT:PSS electrodes in collaboration with Dr. Shadi Dayeh. Indeed, I have found my extensive electrophysiological experience from intracellular to whole-brain recordings has been instrumental in developing and executing neurophysiological monitoring and neural stimulation approaches toward the goal of elucidating how neural activity leads to behavior.
Insect Neurophysiology and Past Research
In my Ph.D., I examined how color and motion information is communicated through individual neurons in the bumblebee brain using sharp-electrode intracellular recording and dye-injection. To study close to real-time neural activity during an attention task in awake, behaving insects, I developed novel multichannel extracellular techniques in behaving animals in virtual reality arenas. I was involved in the development of the computer vision software, FicTrac, allowing real time tracking of an animal walking on an air-supported ball for closed loop virtual reality behavior.
Current Human Neurophysiological Research: DARPA SUBNETS
As an Instructor in the Department of Neurosurgery and then the Department of Neurology collaborating with Dr. Emad Eskandar and Dr. Sydney Cash at the Massachusetts General Hospital, I worked on a large team spanning psychiatry, engineering, neurology, and neurosurgery in the DARPA SUBNETS program TRANSFORM DBS to answer major questions and develop novel real time closed loop approaches involving detecting neural signatures of emotion reactivity and then stimulating brain areas to alter behavior. This work resulted in the development of closed loop strategies in collaboration with Dr. Sydney Cash which then move toward therapeutic neural stimulation strategies involved in detecting epileptiform activity.
Current Human Neurophysiological Research: Direct electrical stimulation
My more recent work has involved using direct electrical stimulation to alter neural activity with the eventual goal of changing behavior as well as improving our understanding of what electrical stimulation does to the brain and how that can change the network dynamics of underlying activity. I currently apply my electrophysiological, programming, and neural activity analysis skills to understand the mechanisms of how stimulation could alter the neural dynamics underlying behavior in the brain to develop novel predictive and therapeutic strategies in the clinical domain.